Barcloy Farm Case Study
The 340ha Barcloy Farm in Kirkcudbright is owned by Marc and Isobel Henklemann. They have 400 sheep and also run a holiday cottage letting business.
They have 7ha of existing conifer plantation and 3ha of native woodland.
In 2009, they planted 22ha of mixed conifers and broadleaves to gain shelter for their stock, improve the diversity and the overall look of the farm.
|Conifers||Hardwoods - native|
Reasons for choice of conifer: they grow well and quickly, providing almost instant shelter and in the future will provide a range of timber products.
Reasons for choice of hardwood: they are good for wildlife and improve the look of the farm. Willow grow well in moist soils near the burns.
The main aim of planting woodlands on their farm was to create a range of habits to improve the look and the wider environment.
Marc said that the overall look of the farm was important to them and that by creating these new woodlands the look and feel of the farm was greatly enhanced.
Along with environmental benefits and additional benefits like shelter to livestock, the promise of a future income from a range of timber products was seen as being significant.
Additionally, there are a number of woodfuel stoves in the houses on the farm and Marc considers logs supplied by their own woodlands to be the most environmentally-friendly type of fuel to use. They expect their existing conifer plantations to supply them with sufficient firewood for their future needs, and their new woodlands to do the same for future generations on the farm.
Funding was essential for the 22ha planting project at Barcloy; Marc commented that they simply could not have gone ahead without a grant from Forestry Commission Scotland.
In 2009 a private woodlands company, UPM Tillhill, prepared an application on their behalf. Marc commented that "Without Tillhill we might have given up but with their help everything, from application to planting went really smoothly".
UPM Tilhill does all the forestry work on the farm; it doesn’t interfere with any other farm activities. Roads were put in for forestry operations in the 1980’s and 90’s and are now considered a great asset to the farm.
The biggest challenge for the Henkelmanns was to find the right place to plant trees. They didn’t want to take away the best farming fields or disturb established fence lines but they did want the woodland to enhance the appearance of the farm.
They have found that the smaller the area, the more expensive it was to plant. As a result they created one block of woodland rather than fencing off corners of the fields to create a patchwork of smaller areas under the Land Manager's Option.
Marc also commented that finding the right contractor saves a lot of bother. While deer fencing was expensive, Mark believes it was an important investment.
Looking to the future, they are looking forward to watching the woodland grow.